Cole Allen is a professional musician who was born and raised in Minneapolis. He moved to Rochester three years ago and has recorded two albums — “Headed for Hollywood” in 2012, and a self-titled album in 2013. He will be releasing a solo acoustic album in June, “The Other Side.”
1. Music background
Cole often tagged along with his father to gigs when he was young. His dad, also a guitarist, made sure that music was a mainstay in his life. “I started playing around on the guitar at age 12, and I knew immediately it was something I wanted to do.”
“I took a few guitar lessons, but there was something about the structure of the lessons that didn’t work out all that great for me. I am the type of person who goes by trial and error. I am self-taught for the most part.”
Cole has been a full-time professional musician for the past 15 years. Not only does he play solo acoustic shows, he has his own band, the Cole Allen band, and he is in a band with his wife, Sena Ehrhardt.
Cole has opened for artists including Bret Michaels, LA Guns, Gregg Allman, REO Speedwagon, ZZ Top, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.
Take a chance on me
“It’s luck. So much of the music industry is luck. You can be talented and have everything going for you, and it is still all about chance.”
“The music industry is a free-falling roller coaster ride. It is really difficult to stay in it and last very long. A musician has to be really dedicated, extremely motivated, and be able to stand up to all kinds of pressures. I think so highly of people who are able to make a lasting career in the industry.”
Ceiling can’t hold us
“The art of creating, of writing a song and then performing it live in front of people — it is an unbelievable experience. It is the highest high.”
Favorite way to play
“I really love doing solo shows. I can be myself and try different things.”
Rochester music scene
“Coming from Minneapolis, I value a city that is supportive of its arts. Rochester is on board with that 100 percent.”
Where to find Cole
Cole will be playing on Friday at Thyme Restaurant, on Saturday at Five West, and on Wednesday, April 27, at Forager Brewery.